What to do and what to see in Coín

The municipality of Coín with 128 km² is located in the south of the province of Málaga and is part of Guadalhorce Valley region.

Throughout its territory, Coín borders other municipalities in the province of Málaga. To the north it borders with the municipalities of Casarabonela, Pizarra, to the northeast with Cártama, to the east with Alhaurín el Grande, to the south with Mijas and Ojén, and to the west with Monda, Guaro and Alozaina.

The municipality of Coín extends north from Sierra de Alpujata to Guadalhorce Valley in the south. It presents a smooth orography with great contrasts in the vegetation, thus in the area of the mountain range there are abundant cork oaks and pine forests, while in the lower areas of the valley, next to the Guadalhorce River, citrus and subtropical orchards predominate.

Coín city is located 33 km southwest from the provincial capital and 30 km north from Marbella.

History of Coín

The first settlements in the lands that make up the current municipality of Coín date back to the Paleolithic. These were attracted and influenced by the temperate climate, the mild orography and the abundance of water, as Coín was bathed by the Pereilas River and the Grande River, tributaries of the Guadalhorce River. This is confirmed by the site known as the Taller de Ardite (Ardite Studio).

From the Metal Age, the Cerro Carranque (Carranque Hill) and Llano de la Virgen (Virgin Plain) deposits stand out, the latter declared a Cultural Interest Site.

Advancing a little further in history, Greeks, Phoenicians, Iberians and Romans also passed through the Coín lands as evidenced by the site of Cerro del Aljibe (Cistern Hill). Since Visigothic times, burials have appeared in the Cerro de las Calaveras (Skulls Hill).

The first vestiges built in the urban space known as Coín belong to Mozarabic settlers. It is a basilica excavated in the rock known as the Cuevas Rupestres (Rock Caves), probably built between the 8th and 10th centuries, which suggest a habitability in the urban nucleus prior to the foundation, which was during the Muslim era, the old town being fortified Roman in the year 920 by a high character of Córdoba called Dakwan (Coín), who played a very prominent role in the campaigns of Abd al-Rahman III against Umar ibn Hafsun, whose headquarters was in Bobastro and who was overthrown in the year 928.

During the Muslim domination the municipality of Coín experienced great advances, especially in agriculture, some of the infrastructures for irrigation are still preserved. Between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it was the administrative capital of the Algarbía, the western region of Málaga, a middle-class city of the Nasrid kingdom, with about 3,000 inhabitants.

In 1485, Coín city was conquered by Christian troops and immediately afterwards, Ferdinand II ordered the demolition of the fortress because, due to its size, it was very expensive to maintain a sufficient garrison to defend it. Two and a half years after the conquest, the repopulation and distribution of land began, and from the 16th century the town registered a constant increase in its inhabitants. In this century the Episcopal Palace was built.

The seventeenth century marked the consolidation of the Modern Age in Coín. In 1632 there was the purchase of its jurisdiction from the King, while after a series of public disorders the imposition of the Corregimiento de las Cuatro Villas de la Hoya de Málaga was decreed, a jurisdiction governed by a position called Corregidor, who exercised his command over the towns of Alhaurín, Álora, Cártama and Coín, establishing his residence in the last one.

In the last third of the 18th century, in Coín there were more than 700 orchards in which a lot of kinds of fruit trees and vegetables were grown. In addition, its countryside produced wheat, corn, oil, barley, hemp, figs, honey, silk and grapes, among other agricultural products, and it had fourteen oil and twenty flour mills. All this on a date when the population was made up of 1,800 residents.

In the 19th century, during the Spanish Independence War, Coín played an important role. At the beginning of the century the bishop of the Málaga diocese, Vicente de LaMadrid, stayed in the Episcopal Palace, where he died in 1809. Also, in November 1831 Coín suffered a great flood.

In the 20th century, Coín approached modernity with the inauguration of the first electricity station, the railway line, which no longer exists and which linked the town with the Málaga capital, and telephone communication. Furthermore, in 1930 Alfonso XIII granted the title of City and the treatment of Excellence to its City Council. But with the Spanish Civil War, Coín lived a bloody fight that took the lives of hundreds of people.

Currently, Coín is a small city increasingly tending towards the construction, services and interior tourism sector.

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What to see in Coín

In the historical artistic heritage of Coín, its religious constructions acquire an important role. This makes sense since the city was the seat of one of the vicariates into which the Málaga Bishopric was divided, with a jurisdiction in which fourteen towns of Málaga were integrated. An unequivocal sign of the importance of Coín in the religious sphere is that in the 16th century there were already seven brotherhoods established.

From this Christian culture, Coín inherits the different religious temples that it has. One of them is the Church and Convent of Saint Mary of the Incarnation, which is located in the square that bears the same name. It dates from the early 16th century and is the first church built in Coín after the Christian conquest. It is a Mudejar style church built on an Arab mosque that consists of a single nave with a ribbed cupola and plasterwork decoration. At the beginning of the 18th century a beguinage of the Franciscan order was built and later a convent, in which its baroque cloister stands out. During the republican government the church was the House of the People.

Another temple that you can see in Coín is the Church of Saint Andrew and the Charity Hospital. They were originally built in Saint Andrew Square and in 1520 they already occupied the current location, on Dr. Palomo and Anaya Street. It consists of an L-shaped plant, with the supposed object of placing the sick in one of the arms in such a way that they are separated from the rest of the faithful. It is one of the four churches that exist in Andalusia with these characteristics. The Mudejar coffered ceiling and the stained glass windows of the temple are especially valuable works, as is its cloister and its unique portal-belfry with three sections from the 18th century. It is a construction that stands out from those of its time for its originality and beauty.

You will also find the Church of Saint John the Baptist, built in the mid-16th century. It is a good example of the group of columnar churches of the Andalusian Renaissance. In it, classic elements are mixed with other Gothic and Mudejar, as well as Baroque, the result of the restoration carried out in the 18th century. Inside it houses a Mudejar coffered ceiling and several sculptures, among which the 16th century Our Lady of the Angels and the Virgin of the Fuensanta, patron saint of Coín, stand out, only eleven centimeters in size, a late Gothic work from late 15th century, which is believed to have been brought to town by some of the Christians involved in the conquest.

Finally, the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Fuensanta is located on the road that leads to Monda, the original one was built in the 16th century, but the current one dates from 1680, although it was renovated in the 18th century. Of its architectural complex, it is worth highlighting the main chapel, conceived as an open dressing room, whose decoration reminds that of the dressing room of the Church of Victoria in Málaga city. It is a work to the Rococo taste in which there are hardly any spaces for decoration.

Related to the church you will be able to appreciate the Trinitarios Tower, located on the Monda road and with a triangular plan, it is one of the three that exist in Andalusia with a base of this type, one in the Church of Saint Anna in Archidona and the other in the Convent of the Saint Trinity and Conception in Écija. The tower belonged to the Church of Saint Christ of the True Cross de Coín, which corresponded to the convent of the Trinitarians and after the Franciscans, an order that left the place after the confiscation of Mendizábal in the first third of the 19th century.

In addition to these religious monuments, Coín offers you other elements of cultural heritage such as La Atarjea Arch, which forms the only trace of the first hydroelectric plant that was founded in Coín. This hydroelectric plant took advantage of the High Mill waterfall and began operating on May 25, 1926.

One of the most common spaces among the inhabitants of Coín is the Alameda Square, where the last two Town Halls are located, as well as the last vestiges of nineteenth-century architecture. In it, the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus stands out, which is known as the Saint, and the beautiful marble fountain that symbolizes the arrival of drinking water to Coín and its squares.

You will also be able to see the Saint Augustine Park, which is built on the remains of the Convent of the Augustinians, from the 16th century. This park is adorned with gardens and a set of leafy and centenary storages. In the center of it there is an obelisk, in homage to those who died in the Spanish Civil War.

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What to do in Coín

The municipality of Coín will provide you with different entertainments with which you can enjoy the culture, history and nature that the municipality of Coín encompasses.

One of the recommended places to learn more about the art and culture of Coín is what is known as the Exhibition Rooms, which are located inside the Old Convent of Saint Mary of the Incarnation. It consists of four permanent exhibition rooms, two of them made of ceramics, each dedicated to two emblematic artists from Coín, Carmen Escalona and Salvador Luna. Another room is dedicated to archeology and it exhibits a selection of the first tools carved by man, in flint and quartzite, as well as interesting samples of ceramic containers made by hand during the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age. All these samples are from the more than one hundred archaeological sites that exist distributed throughout the geography of the municipality. There is a fourth room dedicated to ethnography and another four rooms for temporary exhibitions.

Also in the Old Convent of Saint Mary of the Incarnation is the Antonio Reyna Manescau Centre. In it you will be able to see a permanent exhibition where a dozen pictorial works of this universal painter from Coín and one of the most important Spanish artistic figures of the time are collected.

To learn more about the history of Coín, you can visit Las Vistillas Ethnographic Museum, a farm of tourist-cultural interest where you will have the opportunity to learn about the way of working and living of the town's residents during the 20th century.

Within the natural environment of Coín, you will find many other places that will be worth visiting. Among these places, the Cuevas Rupestres stand out, which complete a monumental complex of three main naves and two accessory naves, excavated in the limestone rock dating from the 9th century, with numerous aesthetic and functional details, such as horseshoe arches, niches, buttresses, simulated gable roofs, bench for the liturgical service, triumphal arch to separate the nave, the presbytery of the church, different types of vaults, ventilation galleries and escape routes. The monumental complex is privately owned and is currently only open to the general public for specific events.

In addition, through the different hiking routes you can discover different places that are in the municipality of Coín.

One of these routes is the Albuqueria - Barranco Blanco Trail PR-A 338, which is a linear path, 11.88 km long, with a medium level of difficulty and that passes through sections of forest track and other stony ones. The trail begins at Finca La Albuqueria (La Albuqueria Farm) a very fertile area watered by the Pereilas River and surrounded by orchards. Later, it passes through forest tracks that will take you to the Mirador del Charco Infierno (Hell Puddle Viewpoint), an area also with orchards where the Lentisco Stream runs, which collects the waters that come down from the mountains. At this point you will have the opportunity to obtain magnificent panoramic views of the province of Málaga, with the Hoya de Málaga (Málaga Wide Valley) and the Guadalhorce Valley as the closest areas, the Montes de Málaga and most of the mountains that form the central limestone arch of the province (El Chorro, Sierra del Valle de Abdalajís, Sierra de Chimeneas, Torcal de Antequera, Sierra de las Cabras and Sierra de Camarolos), Sierra de Tejeda, dividing the provinces of Málaga and Granada, and even in the background, Sierra Nevada. From here and in a gentle descent, you will reach a stone bridge over the Alaminos River, in the Barranco Blanco (White Ravine), declared a Community Interest Site.

On the other hand, Los Dos Ríos Trail PR-A 382 is circular with a linear beginning, of 19.60 km of route, with a medium level of difficulty and that runs around the Pereilas River and the Grande River. On your way you will have the opportunity to observe a large number of birds and the magnificent riverside scenery that both rivers originate.

Changing to a shorter distance style of route, you can take a local trail such as La Alfaguara Trail SL-A 145, with a circular route of 6.7 km in length and with a medium difficulty level. The most recommended time of year for its realization is autumn, winter and spring. The trail begins on the Albuqueria Road, a very fertile area watered by the Pereilas River. The itinerary continues through a closed pine forest that provides shade on sunny days and ends with its hardest section descending through a firebreak.

Another local trail is the Camino de la Ermita Trail SL-A 147, a local trail with a linear journey of 4 km in length and a medium level of difficulty, which begins in the urban area of Coín and ends in the Hermitage of the Fuensanta, one of the most emblematic enclaves of the Guadalhorce Valley. The most recommended time of year to do the route is autumn, winter and spring.

With El Nacimiento - Mirador de Cerro Alaminos Trail SL-A 59 you will arrive with consecutive ascents and descents to the Mirador del Cerro Alaminos (Alaminos Hill Viewpoint), one of the enclaves distinguished as the Singular Corner of Málaga. It is a path with a linear path of 5.6 km in length and a low level of difficulty, which begins at the Llanos del Nacimiento Recreational Area and runs along a forest track in good condition until it reaches the viewpoint. From here you can see, on clear days, the Mediterranean strip that bathes Fuengirola, Mijas or Marbella, as well as the closest enclaves, such as Alhaurín el Grande, Sierra de Mijas or the Alaminos River valley, where the famous Barranco Blanco is located. You can also enjoy views of protected areas, such as the Guadalhorce River Mouth Natural Area or the Montes de Málaga.

Another local trail in Coín is the Camino de la Fuente - Llanos de Matagallar Trail SL-A 60, a small route with a linear path of 2.4 km in length and a low level of difficulty, which begins in the Llanos del Nacimiento Recreational Area and passes through stretches of stones and a forest track. It passes through places such as the well-known the Fountain Road, a historic path that connects with the Llanos de Matagallar, in Sierra Blanca, a spectacular plain of limestone origin that serves as a drainage for one of the largest aquifers in the province of Málaga.

With 1 km in length, the Mirador de Sierra Gorda Trail SL-A 146 has rocky sections and a medium difficulty level. It is located about 7 km from Coín town. The most recommended time of year for its realization is autumn, winter and spring.

To finish the local trails, you will find the Río Pereilas Trail SL-A 163, which has a linear path of 2 km in length and a low level of difficulty. This peaceful itinerary runs along the banks of the Pereilas River, starting at the Tubes Bridge on a completely flat route with a landscape that invites you to relax.

In addition, one of the stages of the Great Path of Málaga passes through the municipality of Coín. This great path draws a route that runs through a large part of the natural and coastal environment of the province of Málaga.

  • Stage 32, Ojén - Mijas - This stage begins in Ojén town and ends in Mijas. The route through the lands of Coín initially develops by forming an arc through the natural corridor located between Sierra Canucha to the north and Sierra Alpujata to the south. The second part passes between the Llanos de Coín and Sierra Blanca from Alhaurín el Grande and Mijas. During the route you will be able to enjoy the spectacular landscapes at the beginning of the stage, which later turn into a tour of pure mountains.

If you like sports but do not want to leave the urban environment, the municipality of Coín has a wide network of sports facilities, among which Municipal Sports Centre, Mr. José Burgos Quintana Sports City, Eva Sports Centre, Indoor Pool, Our Lady of the Fuensanta Football Pitch and Juan Montes Hoyo Municipal Pool stand out. In addition, in its offer there are also paddle tennis courts, petanque courts, tennis courts and skate park.

And if what you like is competition, the municipality of Coín organizes different annual sporting events, such as the Cross Ciudad de Coín, the Provincial Mountain Bicycles Circuit, the Aquafitness Festival, the Mini-Olympics Athletics, the Pedestrian Tour of Coín, the 6H Coín Swimming Club, the Diversity Day (paralympic sport), the Provincial Swimming Circuit, both winter and summer, the Provincial Archery Tournament, the Women's Race, the Provincial Karate Circuit, the Sports Festival, the Fitness Party, the Cross Duathlon, the Navidance and the Badminton Tournament.

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Traditional festivities and celebrations in Coín

To finish knowing the culture and tradition of Coín, the town has a series of festivals throughout the year that, in addition to helping you understand the customs of the town, will make you enjoy an atmosphere of celebration and joy.

In the month of March or April, depending on the year, Holy Week is celebrated in Coín, as in the entire national territory. During these days the images of the different brotherhoods of the town come out in procession. On Palm Sunday, the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus Nazarene takes “La Pollinica” in procession. On Holy Wednesday, the images of Christ of Mercilessly, Christ of the True Cross and Our Lady of the Expectation. On Holy Thursday and Good Friday, it is the moment of the Brotherhood of the Virgin of the Sorrows and the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus Nazarene. While on Resurrection Sunday the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus Nazarene brings out the Risen Christ in procession.

The month of May begins from the first day with the transfer of the Virgin Our Lady of Fuensanta from the Church of Saint John the Baptist to her hermitage on May 1. In this event, the residents of Coín accompany the Virgin to her sanctuary, where she will remain until the first Sunday in June.

On May 3, the Day of the Cross is celebrated, in which the town adorns itself with May crosses covered in flowers. At night the procession of the Christ of Mercilessly and the Christ of the True Cross takes place.

Also, in the month of May the Orange Festival takes place and its celebration commemorates the completion of the harvesting of orange crops in the field. It has been declared a Provincial Tourist Singularity Festival and aims to promote the typical products of the agri-food sector and the crafts of Coín. In it you will have the opportunity to taste for free during the day, the cod salad with oranges and a large boiled soup, as well as other typical dishes of Coín. In addition, a dessert preparation and presentation contest is held, where orange is the main ingredient.

The first weekend of June takes place one of the most important pilgrimages in the area, the Pilgrimage of the Fuensanta in Coín. On Saturday morning the pilgrims leave in carts, drawn by oxen or by tractors, to the hermitage and spend the night in the Llano de las Marías (Maries Plain), where a mass is celebrated in honor of the patron saint in the late afternoon. Already on Sunday afternoon, between songs, dances and joy, the winning cart takes the patron saint of Coín back to her church.

In summer, you can enjoy the July Popular Dances Festival, in which each year groups from the area and others from other parts of Spain and other countries participate. Previously, the groups carry out a parade from Saint Augustine Park to the City Hall, where a reception takes place. Entrance to the festival is free and you can enjoy a great color and variety of rhythms.

At the end of the same month the Flamenco Singing Festival is celebrated, with the performance each year of the best representatives of this style so deeply rooted in Andalusia. Its celebration takes place in the Cuevas Rupestres of Coín.

In mid-August you can enjoy the Coín August Fair, becoming a meeting place, both during the day with the downtown fair that takes place between the Alameda and Saint Augustine Park, and at night in the fairgrounds, with the programming of a great variety of cultural and sporting performances and activities. On the 15th, the patron saint, Our Lady of the Fuensanta, leaves in a night procession.

In autumn, the last Sunday of October, the Horse Expert Gathering of Coín takes place. The day takes place with the horses, showily harnessed, walk through the streets of Coín to later meet at the fairgrounds, where horsemen and non-horsemen taste the traditional products of the area.

On the last day of the year, as in most of the world, New Year's Eve is celebrated, but in a very unique way. The streets of Coín become a coming and going of costumes where imagination, grace and nonsense in dressing join the joy of these dates, concentrating on Bermúdez de la Rubia Square, better known as Fish Square to take the traditional grapes of luck.

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Gastronomy of Coín

The basis of the gastronomy in Coín is found in the products of the garden, with which simple dishes are prepared but rich in variety and flavor.

Among the typical dishes of Coín you can taste the boiled soup, the poncima soup, the gazpacho, the gazpachuelo, the cachorreñas soups, the stew in its differents forms, the pepper and tomato soup and the mojete.

In the winter seasons, other more consistent dishes take prominence, such as the popular cabbage with pringá seasoned with vegetables and pork products. To accompany these dishes you can still find bread kneaded by hand and cooked in a wood oven in some bakeries.

With regard to pastries, the fig bread, the bagels, the raisins in moonshine, the porridge with syrup or the baked sweet potatoes stand out. However, many sweets are traditionally made at a certain time of year, such as egg bagels at Holy Week or ochío bagels and typical dumplings at Christmas.

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